The joint venture was officiated with a contractual signing on November 18, and came into immediate effect. Rajat Kakar, Managing Director of Universal Music India, has been appointed the inaugural Chairman of the JV. Sunil Lulla, President, India, of Eros International, and Jyoti Deshpande, COO of Eros International Group, are on the JV's Board of Directors. The launch phase will focus on marketing and promotional initiatives for new, undiscovered pop acts from around India. This agreement is the first of its kind for UMG in both India and the South East Asia region.
Established in 1977, Eros International operates a strategic Indian-film business that covers Global Distribution, Motion Pictures, Music, Home Entertainment, e-Television, New Media and Animation. With offices in more than 50 countries, Eros releases up to 50 new films annually and exploits a 1,900-title film library, making it one of the largest content owners in the business.
Universal Music Group is the world's leading music company with wholly owned record operations or licensees in 77 countries. Its company in India is headquartered in Mumbai. The partnership with Eros will ensure that fresh new artists will be signed and promoted throughout the country as well as internationally. With access to UMG's artist-management expertise, they will also be provided with exciting opportunities to develop their talent and be exposed to new, wide-reaching promotional avenues.
Max Hole said: "Eros is an incredibly exciting and ambitious company. Combining the creative ideas and marketing skills of Eros and Universal Music will certainly give a huge boost to Indian music and artist development."
Added Kishore Lulla: "Music and films are naturally intertwined, so the synergy is unmistakable. As we continue to expand our film slate, we are constantly searching for new talent. Our tie-up with Universal, and their expertise in pop music talent management, is perfectly complimentary with Eros' ability to offer a credible platform for such talent through its films or worldwide distribution network. The possibilities for Indian and international collaborations are very exciting."
Rajat Kakar commented: "Indian music today is at a very interesting juncture, influenced by global trends and distributed via new avenues. We are excited at the prospect of pioneering India's first-ever 360 talent management entity aimed at creating musical icons that appeal to millions of Indians, with the potential of appealing to global audiences as well."